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I have noticed that unless I press very lightly on the accelerator, my 2001 EX takes a long time to shift from first to second. With "normal" acceleration, the shift doesn't occur until 20mph or higher, and by that time it feels like the engine is straining. My 2000 Accord SE doesn't do this. Under normal acceleration it upshifts very smoothly at maybe 15 mph, with no noticeable strain.

Anyone else have this problem? Anyone know what if anything can be done about it? Can the transmission shift points be adjusted?

Thanks,
Paul
 

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I also noticed this when we first got the Ody. The first to second shift was more harsher than the other shifts.
I'm not sure what can be done about the shift points. Maybe one of the Techie guys can answer that one.
I learned to anticipate the shifting in the Ody and now can accelerate much smoother.
 

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This is one of the reasons I went to the extreme of selling my three week old Odyssey and getting on the list for a 2002.

The Odyssey is heavy... 4300 lbs. While it certainly has enough power at 200HP to push it around nicely, the four speed automatic seems to have economical gearing.

Fourth gear is quite long. On my '01, I could cruise at 75-80mph in the 2500 RPM area. This makes for good highway economy, but sort of "wastes" fourth gear, because at 2500RPM there isn't much power compared to higher RPMs when the VTEC has kicked in. And, being at 2500rpm at 75mph means fourth gear is almost totally unresponsive at about 55mph... forcing a downshift on every press of the accelerator.

With fourth gear only being really useful above about 65mph, the other gears must be stretched out to cover the various driving speeds. First gear, in particular, is very long (or tall). In my '01, I noticed that going from a standing start, the initial movement seemed a little strainy. Not bad, but not what I expected.

My opinion is that first gear is long, and second and third are more "normal." Fourth is really like an overdrive, for efficient cruising. This seems optimized for average usage, where most of your speed changes are in the 25-45mph range. At those speeds, you should be moving between 2nd and 3rd gear, possibly going into 4th if you don't accelerate for a bit.

I drove my Ody in D3 a few times, and it felt a lot more responsive because it never shifted into that ultra-long fourth, but there is nothing to be done about the long first gear.

A couple of points of reference:

My wife's '92 Pontiac Sunbird convertible (currently for sale) has a _3_ speed automatic transmission coupled w/ a 2.0L four cylinder engine. First gear is very long.. mash the accelerator from a standstill and you will experience almost go-kart behavior. Revs go up, car doesn't move much. Obviously the transmission is not fully engaged, because w/ 1st gear being so long, if it fully engaged at 5mph, the engine would stall. So, it slowly engages, and you stay in first till about 25mph or more, then an abrupt change to the much much longer 2nd gear hits, and the engine goes from a redlining scream to a very low growl. Keep the accelerator mashed, and you will slowly move up the revs, finally into 3rd gear, which can cruise up to 85mph comfortably, and probably take the car up to over 100mph.

My Mitsubishi Galant, with a V6 (200HP) and a four speed, eclipses 3000RPM at about 78mph. All the gears are fairly short, which gives powerful acceleration, smooth shifts (the shift points are well matched since the gearing is even all the way through), and poorer gas mileage. This car will hit 127mph, but it hits 5000rpm at about 100mph, and would surely redline (6200rpm) at 127. The high revving transmission/engine means less fuel economy.

Anyway .. compromises must be made, depending on the goal and what they have to work with.

In a racing application, you set up first gear for the slowest corner on the track, and 6th gear for the fastest straight on the track. Then you place the gears in between as well as you can, and hit the track to see what response you get. A change in one gear usually prompts a change in another. You do that over and over until you get the absolute perfect redline in 6th gear on the fastest straight right before you brake for the next corner. And, you don't waste first gear entirely by only using it at the start.

Out of all of these, I prefer the Mitsu's gearing, because it feels the most sporty. Cruising at [email protected], it definitely responds to the accelerator w/o downshifting. But it guzzles gas, too... so hey!

I'll stop rambling now
I put down a deposit on an '02 mostly because of the 5-spd auto and 30 more HP -- hoping to get a sportier feel more similar to my sedan. That said, I really loved my '01 and if I wouldn't have been able to minimize my losses as well as I did, I would have kept it and been happy enough with it.

If you're still with me, I hope that helped somehow =)

------------------
2002 Mesa Beige EX-L-RES - on order
2001 Mesa Beige EX - recently sold

[This message has been edited by pummal (edited 08-18-2001).]
 

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My Odyssey seems to hold first gear longer when cold, which I assume is because the engine is still in the "open loop" mode. When it is warmed up, it shifts out of low very quickly, unless one steps hard on the throttle, which is as it should be.

Fourth gear is, indeed, an "overdrive" gear, just as third is. Both of those gears are higher than a 1 to 1 ratio. Fourth is just exactly as you have found it to be, a cruising gear, not meant for acceleration. To accelerate on the highway, you have third, which works very nicely and causes no engine strain. With a small displacement, low torque motor, that is the only way it can be done. I found in my similarly geared Dodge Caravan that as I crossed Kansas and encountered high headwinds, I could not cruise in fourth gear. It took too much throttle to buck the wind and that would cause the transmission to downshift to third gear. I ran at 75 mph and 4K rpm all day and had no ill effects. My experience.

My experience is that the van has very good off-the-line (throttle tip-in) response. It may not be so good for one who is used to lots of cubic inches and torque, but, I am very satisfied with that aspect of the performance.

Jerry O.
2001 GG LX
 

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I tend to agree with pmueller on the Ody's 1-2 shift point. The point where I tend to want to put the gas pedal on a start will have the transmission shifting from first to second at aroung 3000 rpm. The acceleration from about 2500 to 3000 is very easy, not because the van is heavy or the engine doesn't make enough low end torque, it's simply because I'm not giving it enough throttle. The end result is a "feel" that the engine is straining when in fact, it is not. If I push the throttle just a tad more, the Ody moves out in a satifying way and the transmission still does the 1-2 shift very close to 3000 rpm. In this case, it's appropriate for what I'm asking the van to do. In the first example, I wish the Ody would shift at or slightly before the 2500 rpm point as that's all it needs and the feel of the car would be more in line with what I'm asking of it. As it is, I generally try to take off easy enough for the transmission to do it's 1-2 shift at 2000 rpm, once that's occured, I push the gas a little harder and it feels more natural. Only problem is, it can be a fine line between the two. This is simply a matter of how Honda has programmed the transmissions shift points and, unfortunately, there's not much that can be done about that. To my knowledge, not even the dealer can effect that kind of change since it involves changing the control computers internal programming and I seriously doubt that anyone working at a car dealership would have the knowledge or equipment to do that.

FWIW,
Drive Safe,
Steve
 
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